News from the Ohio Venture Association meeting on April 17, 2009

Keynote Address:

Jon Snyder
Neuros Medical

As the 100th employee of Steris, Jon Snyder had played a role in one of Northeast Ohio's most successful and celebrated start-ups. He left the company when it had close to 5,000 employees, and later went on to senior positions at such industry stalwarts as Imalux and Cyberonics. By 2006, he found himself in Chicago, running the marketing operation for a surgical instrumentation division of Cardinal Health.

Then one morning in October of 2007, he got a surprise.

Through an industry news update, he learned that Ohio was leading the Midwest in health care investments. "So here I am in Chicago, when all the activity is back in Cleveland," he recalled in a presentation to the OVA's April lunch meeting. Not long afterward, he returned to the region, as an executive in residence for BioEnterprise. His task: surveying the region's considerable medical research base in the area of neurostimulation, and forming a company around the most promising technology.

By October of 2008, that had led to the formation of Neuros Medical, established to commercialize nerve blocking technology developed by Drs. Kevin Kilgore and Niloy Bhadra of CWRU and the Functional Electrical Stimulation Center in Cleveland. The technology is designed to address the pain suffered by amputees.

There are approximately 1.7 million amputees in the United States, but that's projected to double to 3.6 million by the year 2050, largely due to diabetes and other vascular disorders. While that will be the initial area of focus for the company, Snyder noted, the technology also shows promise of alleviating pain after other kinds of surgeries: for hernias, mastectomies, and knee & hip replacements. Insurance reimbursement should be a far less complicated matter than for other new medical devices, he said, since the company can take advantage of existing reimbursement codes.

The company is currently undergoing a $1.5-million round of seed funding, which Snyder said should get it through the FDA approval process. That will lead to a $5-8 million Series A round, with a product launch anticipated for either 2011 or 2012.

See complete presentation (PDF).

Webcasts from the Meeting:

Click on the image below to view the entire presentation as video.

Webcast produced by Mike Sutyak, The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative.

OVA on LinkedIn:

To connect with members of the Ohio Venture Association, Inc. see OVA on LinkedIn.

Next Meeting:

May 8, 2009
A. Ray Dalton

The Union Club
1211 Euclid Ave.

Ray Dalton has spent a lifetime defining the word entrepreneur. He started his first company at the age of 25 and has since created seven successful companies over the past 25 years. In 2007 Ray won the E & Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the northern Ohio Region. PartsSource finished #1 on the Weatherhead 100 list and placed #138 on the Inc 500 in 2006 and was named the 19th Fastest Growing Company in America by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2006 after placing 23rd in 2005.

PartsSource, possibly the most compelling story of all, is simply the latest in a string of successful businesses created to "reduce the cost of healthcare" while creating economic opportunities. PartsSource is the nation's only multi-manufacturer alternative parts supplier supporting parts requests for over 2,500 models of hospital equipment. They are the only company to aggregate suppliers into a patented application PartsFinder. Through utilization of this and its web-based customer interface ePartsFinder™, they quickly and efficiently capture parts requests online, scan the warehouse inventory for available stock and, if unavailable, go to the best vendors on the open market to secure pricing options for their customers. In less than two hours they are able to contact customers with original equipment manufacturing pricing and a variety of new, refurbished and used parts options, saving hospitals 15-60% off current OEM parts pricing.

Ray was raised in inner-city Los Angeles. He dropped out of high school, enlisted in the Air Force and was trained as an X-Ray Technician, where he learned the healthcare trade. After completing his military service he enrolled in night college courses and earned his degree. He founded National Medical Diagnostics and later sold it to GE, then founded OneSource and also sold it to GE, serving as CEO of GE's Clinical Services Division and the VP and General Manager of TRW Medical Electronics Division.

Ray's story has been told in Forbes, Inside Business, Smart Business, Crain's Cleveland, The Plain Dealer and the Akron Beacon Journal.

See complete details and registration.

5-Minute Forum:

A Web Marketplace for Fresh Food

With the current state of the perishable foods market, it's easier for an Ohioan to buy a tomato from California than it is to get one from his own state. Fresh Fork Market, a start-up established by recent college graduates, is designed to solve that problem, by creating a central web marketplace for perishable foods, one that will also facilitate more direct logistical networks between suppliers and consumers.

"The local foods market is about a $15-billion market, with about 15% annual growth," Fresh Fork CEO Trevor Clatterbuck told OVA members. The company is pursuing a software services model, and will take as a cut of each online transaction it facilitates. The company has already raised seed funding from the North Coast Opportunity Fund, and is seeking $400,000 in additional capital, mostly to fund software development and marketing.

For more information, contact Trevor Clatterbuck, at 1-800-861-8582, ext 1, or

See complete presentation (PDF).

The 5-Minute Forum is an opportunity for business owners to make a 5-minute presentation at our monthly luncheon meeting for raising capital, identifying customers, establishing distribution, or recruiting management. See details.

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